Skip to main content

What is the best way to express our point of view?

Printer-friendly version

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC, offers the following seven ground rules for engaging in a civic dialogue:

  • Make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak.
  • Share your personal experience, not someone else’s.
  • Listen carefully and respectfully. Speak carefully and respectfully. Do not play the role of know- it-all, convincer or corrector. Remember that a dialogue is not a debate.
  • Don’t interrupt unless for clarification or time keeping.
  • Accept that no group or viewpoint has a complete monopoly on the truth.
  • “Be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than condemn it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2478, quoting St. Ignatius of Loyola).
  • Be cautious about assigning motives to another person.

(“Civil Discourse: Speaking Truth in Love”, 2011.)

Return to Top